CLEAR Research

Maps on the Web

Download and the Image Mapper Tool

Pros/Cons Good way to get data to GIS users. Raw data isn't useful to those that don't know what to do with it.
Required in order to Create Software and data. Lots of possibilities.
Know-how Necessary GIS Proficient
Cost Variable
Requires to Use (besides the internet and a broswer) GIS Software of some sort
CT Example CT State Library 1934 Aerials and 1965 Aerials

Any link on a web page can link to a zip file that contains data. That's easy, but tedious for multiple files. Sometimes it is helpful to use a map to locate the file (data or map or otherwise). The free image map tool makes it easy.

The Image Mapper Tool

What is an image map? A series of hot spots that initiate other actions on a web page. The actions include opening another map or image, open or download a pdf, download a zipped file or go to a URL. The tool creates those hot spots in the shape of any polygon layer (towns, watersheds, counties, whatever).HTML Image Mapper

This free download creates a tool that you add to any toolbar in ArcMap.

Before you start the tool:

    1. Resize your ArcMap display (just drag the corner of the whole program) so the image is about the size you would like it to be on your web page.
    2. Make sure you have the polygon file in ArcMap. If you want, add an attribute that includes a URL.
    3. Add any data layers that you want to be the background image of your image map.


    1. Click on the Image Mapper Icon.
    2. You may want to simplify the polygons to increase drawing speed.
    3. Provide the attribute to use to be the link URL
    4. Provide the attribute that in will be the polygon name during mouseover

The script then create an output html page and jpg file. The HTML page contains the hotspots that are in the shape of the input polygon. The jpg file is the background image that fits with the hotspots. You can copy the code from the html page into another web page if you like.

Image Mapper Output

View this image map that is the output of the image mapper tool activity.


Images available for download through the RI GIS System (link to zip)

Connecticut State Library as a tool to locate 1934 aerial photographs (center points link to photo)

CLEAR Community Resource Inventory (select a record)


Activity Link The Image Mapper Tool Activity takes you through the steps to create an image mapper and move it to an existing web page.